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Spring Valley Bakery is a staple

Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Owner Peter Haack mixing sweet roll dough. Photo by Barb Jeffers

At the age of twelve, Peter Haack, of Spring Valley, Minn., like all children, wanted a bicycle. He asked his Father, Daryl, if he could get one. Daryl, who owned the Spring Valley Bakery at the time, told Peter he could work at the bakery to earn money to buy himself a bike. Peter says, “I got a buck a day for doing all types of work at the bakery.”

That was 44 years ago, and not only is Peter still working at the bakery, he became the owner 31 years ago. Peter’s Father, Daryl Haack, owned the business for 32 years before Peter took over ownership, which means the Spring Valley Bakery has been in the Haack family for almost 64 years. Peter believes that this may make the Spring Valley Bakery the oldest business in town. Peter and his wife, Brenda, continue to serve the community of Spring Valley just as his father did for so many years.

The Spring Valley Bakery has a large variety of scrumptious food items to choose from including doughnuts, cinnamon twists, pastries, breads, and long johns just to name a few. If your stomach is not growling yet, the bakery also has many cookie varieties which include sugar cookies, ginger cookies and more, with specialty cookies during holidays such as heart-shaped frosted cookies for Valentine’s Day which are currently on the shelf in the display case at the bakery.

The garlic toast is a very popular choice at the Spring Valley Bakery and is supplied to many restaurants, grocery stores, and caterers in the area as well as other items such as hamburger buns. Local grocery stores, such as Sunshine Foods in Spring Valley and Chatfield, Minn., do business with the bakery selling Spring Valley Bakery items in their stores. In Preston, Minn., the Branding Iron, B & B Olympic Bowl, and Chic’s Pizza and Restaurant purchase fresh bakery items to be served in their restaurants.

Many other businesses in the area take advantage of the Spring Valley Bakery’s popularity including Susie’s Roadhouse of Ostrander, Minn., and the Stupid Loon of Racine, Minn. Caterers in the area, such as Ody’s Country Meats & Catering, of Spring Valley, and Old Tyme Café and Catering of Chatfield, Minn. purchase some of their supplies from the bakery. The Spring Valley Bakery supplies too many area businesses to name each individually, but Peter and Brenda are grateful for each and every one of them.

According to Peter, some of the most popular selections by customers at the bakery are the sweet rolls and the snowflake buns, and the doughnuts are always a big hit. In summertime the bakery sells a lot of hamburger buns with people grilling at home, attending reunions, picnics, and other warm weather get-togethers.

Peter says the bakery gets a lot of support from Spring Valley and the surrounding communities and adds, “Spring Valley is still a good business town,” which is a great asset for everyone in the area.

There are some things in the bakery business that have not changed over the years. The work day at the Spring Valley Bakery typically starts at 4:30 a.m. during the week and by 3:00 a.m. on Saturdays in order to have fresh inventory on the shelves when other people are starting their day. Things have changed in other areas of Peter’s business, however, as he states, “Prices are a lot different than they used to be. You have to do more outside wholesaling now.” Peter said, “We didn’t have Walmart’s 31 years ago,” which has changed things dramatically.

With big box stores having in-house bakeries and many bakery/restaurant/coffee shops around these days it is getting harder and harder to find a true full-time bakery such as the Spring Valley Bakery. Peter believes that the Spring Valley Bakery is “the only full-line bakery in Fillmore County” which is quite a distinction for the Haack family.

The Spring Valley Bakery currently employs two full-time people and four to five part-time people. One employee, Angie Erickson, has worked at the Spring Valley Bakery on and off for 23 years and is a friendly face welcoming customers who walk in the door. Angie enjoys her job and describes herself as a “lifer” at the bakery.

Peter and Brenda Haack have one daughter, Danielle, and son-in-law, Troy Harwood. The couple have also been blessed with three grandchildren: Alexys, Ashlyn, and Brantley. When Brenda was asked if Danielle and Troy have any interest in taking over the bakery someday she quickly said, “No.” Their daughter shows no interest in taking over the bakery one day. Brenda explains that Danielle has three children who are her priority and growing up around the bakery, Danielle has seen how much Peter and Brenda put into the business. Although Danielle showed interest in taking over the bakery when she was younger, having children has changed that. Brenda says that people assume the business will be handed down to the next generation, but that is not in the plan so Brenda stated, “We’ll do it until we can’t do it anymore.”

After working at the Spring Valley Bakery for most of his life Peter still enjoys his work and plans to “keep going the way I’m going” he said. The Haacks have been “on a roll” with the bakery for many, many years and “doughnut” expect anything to change. But someone needs to tell Peter the bike is paid for!

The Spring Valley Bakery is located at 117 N. Broadway in Spring Valley, Minn. Business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. The phone number for the bakery is (507) 346-2936.

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